Utilizing a number of primary and secondary source material, as well as recorded audio, this course will explore the development of music in America as both a cultural product, as well as cultural commentary. Beginning with an exploration of Black music during the colonial era, the course will work its way through the Revolutionary Period and the Civil War Era, before culminating in a three-part examination of the musical styles which arguably serve as the bedrock for the modern and contemporary sounds of Rock and Roll and Hip-Hop. The course will cover the time period right up to the ‘big bang’ of Rock and Roll in the 1950s brought about by the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and the Sun Studios stable of artists, while the primary focus will be directed toward listening to the sounds, styles, and content of American music developed during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.
Synchronous class sessions will be devoted to exploring major historical themes and concepts of each era, discussing academic readings on specific topics of music in America, and listening to selected audio tracks. Throughout the course, students will be required to keep a listening journal in order to note their reflections and reactions of the songs we will be highlighting. This course will culminate with a group podcast project that will involve any of the topics covered.
1. Intro / Black Music of the Colonial Era
2. Black Music of the Colonial Era
3. Revolutionary Songs
4. Sounds of Civil War and Reconstruction
5. Foundations of Modern Music: Jazz, Blues, and Folk
6. Foundations of Modern Music: Jazz, Blues, and Folk
7. Foundations of Modern Music: Jazz, Blues, and Folk
8. Culminating Presentations
Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays | 12:30-1:30 PM
Course Instructor(s): Stefan Stawnychy
Materials Needed to Purchase for Course: Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music that Made a Nation (Jon Meacham & Tim McGraw) -- Available on the Kindle Reader from Amazon. No physical copy required. Students will also need a subscription to an online streaming service such as Spotify.